A will is the foundation of any solid estate plan. By creating a will, you’ll be able to specify your wishes for your assets and designate them for your loved ones upon your death. In the event you die without a will, your loved ones may have to go through the rigorous probate process, which may cause them a tremendous amount of stress.
That said, if you’re considering creating a will, you may think you should include everything. However, you shouldn’t include some assets in your will.
Here are some of the assets you should not include in your will.
Assets with a designated beneficiary
There are some types of assets that may allow you to name a beneficiary who inherits your asset upon your death. For example, assets like pension plans, bank accounts and life insurance can be transferred to the named beneficiary when you die. Therefore, you don’t need to include these assets in your will.
It’s crucial that you check and update your beneficiary designations for these assets after every few years. If you have an outdated beneficiary designation, your assets may be transferred to an ex, or if the beneficiary dies, the assets may have to go through probate.
Assets that are already in a trust
After your death, all assets included in your will have to go through probate before they are transferred to your loved ones. But you can prevent your assets from going through probate by setting up a living trust. A trust operates independently from a will, and you shouldn’t include assets held in a trust in your will.
Joint tenancy property
If you co-own assets with another person in joint tenancy, your share of the property will automatically be transferred to the surviving co-owner after you pass on. Therefore, you don’t need to include such properties in your will.
A will may be the most important legal document you will ever create. However, when creating a will, ensure that you create one that will effectively speak for you, even from beyond the grave.